Type of Document Thesis Author Stowe, Jennifer R URN etd-08282003-213131 Title The Effect Of Social Isolation On Anxiety-Related Behaviors And Associated Hormonal And Neuronal Activation In Male Prairie Ane Meadow Voles Degree Master of Science Department Psychology, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Dr. Zuoxin Wang Committee Chair Dr. Barbara G. Licht Committee Member Dr. Michael E. Rashotte Committee Member Keywords
- Social Isolation
- Fos-immunoreactive (Fos-ir) Cells
Date of Defense 2003-06-01 Availability unrestricted AbstractMonogamous prairie (Microtus ochrogaster) and promiscuous meadow (M. pennsylvanicus) voles exhibit different social behaviors in the wild. In a first experiment, it was determined that large species differences existed in elevated plus maze (EPM) behavior, plasma corticosterone (CORT), and neuronal activation in several limbic
structures. Acute (24hr) and chronic (2wk) social isolation biphasically altered prairie vole behavior on the EPM, but no differences were seen in meadow vole behavior.
Social isolation also increased Fos-immunoreactive (Fos-ir) cells differentially in select brain regions of male prairie and meadow voles. In a second experiment, social isolation
alone increased the basal level of Fos-ir in the medial preoptic area, anterior and
ventromedial hypothalamus following acute social isolation, while chronic isolation decreased Fos-ir in the lateral septum of prairie voles. A third experiment examined a time course for CORT following the EPM in prairie voles, and it was established that CORT levels peaked at 20min post-EPM test. Taken together, our data indicate species differences in behavior on the EPM that are further altered by social isolation. In prairie voles, increased open arm activity does not correlate with increased CORT levels, which
suggests that EPM test behavior may not indicate changes in anxiety in this glucocorticoid resistant species. EPM behavior alone also did not alter neuronal activation. However, species-specific patterns of neuronal activation in limbic structures did occur when social isolation was coupled with the EPM test.
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